More than 600 Cebuanos received love gifts from the Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC) in coordination with the Adventist Community Services (ACS) during the two-day gift-giving activity in Cebu City on February 13-14, 2020. This community outreach ministry aimed to reach people to remind them that God loves and cares for them.
Gift packs loaded with “The Power of Hope” book, a piece of Choco pop coupled with “God loves you” sticker, an N95 mask, and an orange fruit touched the lives of by-passers along the CPUC headquarters, the public and private vehicle drivers, passengers, bank employees, office workers, construction workers, and many others.
Pastor James B. Rubrico, the coordinator for Adventist Community Services of Central Philippine Union Conference, expressed his appreciation for the initiative and his best salute to the three CPUC care groups (ACTS, GROW, and HELP) for participating in the social service event.
“So good and excellent,” his reply when asked about the outreach activity. “May your tribe increase, and many more people in the community will realize the love of Jesus Christ through the ACS ministry,” he said further.
The gift distribution commenced on the afternoon of February 13 with a prayer offered to God by Pastor Eliezer T. Barlizo, Jr., the executive secretary of Central Philippine Union Conference. He then led the first distribution together with some of the workers while others continued the packing of gifts.
Words of gratitude flooded the place as each person received their share. Some wanted to receive more for their family members; some also waited for the next distribution to happen, while others refused to accept the gift packs because of the virus outbreak.
On Friday, February 14, some of the CPUC workers visited the banks. While handing the gift packs, one of the bank employees exclaimed, “Thank you so much. This is the best gift I ever received.”
In an interview with a construction worker named Gilbert Bontilao from Sac-sac, Consolacion, Cebu, he also shared how blessed he was for the gift that he received.
“I am very grateful, especially for the book that I obtained. I am almost done reading it. I hope that your good deeds will continue to inspire more people in the community,” he explicitly expressed.
Moreover, Central Philippine Union Conference President Agapito J. Catane, Jr. commended everyone for the job well done. Inspired by the responses of the recipients, he appealed that this benevolence will continue and will be done quarterly.
“We can’t preach to all the people around us, but this unique way of gift-giving will give a big impact on their lives. So, let’s start planning for the next activity to happen,” Catane concluded.
In Christ’s Object Lessons, page 388, Ellen White writes, “As you engage in this work you have companions’ unseen by human eyes… Angels from the heavenly courts stand by all who do God’s service in ministering to their fellowmen. And you have the cooperation of Christ Himself. He is the Restorer, and as you work under His supervision, you will see great results. Upon your faithfulness in this work, not only the well-being of others, but your own eternal destiny depends.”
By Nadeth B. Quinto